Due Diligence Matters

There are two things that separates most winners from losers. One is pure luck. The other is due diligence.

Pure luck has its virtues. Just look at these poor folks who managed to be captured for eternity in Internet memes. Or look at lottery winners (the ones who aren’t broke). Or look at Chris Pratt.

Our government spends more money on due diligence than any corporation, but does less of it than a buy-here-pay-here car dealer. This is why fraud, waste, and abuse is so prevalent. Millions of Americans love Donald Trump because he says he’ll fix all that. But he won’t.

Due diligence minimizes risk and maximizes potential. It’s the not-so-secret behind Warren Buffett. It’s also dull, boring, and for everyone except accountants and corporate lawyers, uninspiring. I know. I’ve sold a few companies. I’ve had my share of due diligence. I’ve seen where it’s done right, and I’ve seen spectacular failures where it’s not done.

Trump has one of the worst records for due diligence. He’ll sell his name and brand to anyone. Instead of using lawyers to carefully examine the claims of companies he does business with, he uses them to bully those companies into paying him sums they know they can’t afford. Then he uses the attorneys to sue those companies when they go belly up. Look at Trump Vodka. Look at Trump Steaks. Trump University. The Trump Network (vitamins). Trump Airlines. The list is long.

They all have one thing in common. Trump does business with people who would fail due diligence if they wanted to partner with legitimate companies, and lets them fail. He woos them with his star power, and makes a huge spash at first, then stops attending their galas. But they keep spending money like they had Trump’s money (they don’t). After a while, they run out of cash and Trump sues.

If Trump does business on his own, he borrows and leverages to the hilt, and if the business fails, he leaves the banks holding the bag. It’s his pattern for the last 30 years. Does anyone really expect him to change now?

Due diligence is difficult, boring, exacting, and dull. Congress doesn’t do it (who read the Obamacare bill?). Trump doesn’t do it. No wonder lawmakers have started flocking to Trump. He won’t hold them accountable.

The combination of Trump and Congress’ record on avoiding due diligence, along with the federal government’s expertise in churning out useless red tape foretells the worst possible outcome if the two become united.

I really hate to say this. It’s painful writing it. But at least, if Trump is nominated, and Hillary is elected, Republicans will be able to pretend to be accountable for another 4 years, and pretend to hold the Democrats to some standard of due diligence. If Trump somehow wins, we’ll all be doomed to life in the huckster’s paradise.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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